maira kalman on invention and ingenuity (and napping)

Maira Kalman
The brilliant Maira Kalman has done another wonderfully illustrated op-ed for her periodic blog “And the Pursuit of Happiness” at the New York Times. This time, it’s about the nature in invention, starting with Benjamin Franklin …

He believed in doing good.
He made charts and had daily goals…
….He saw a dirty street and created a sanitation department…
He saw people needing an education, and he founded a university….

….with mentions along the way of Daguerre, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, rubber bands, bobbi pins, peaches, and an “enterprising beautiful woman in a green jacket and yellow blouse” who ran a jello mold competition in Brooklyn, to name a few. But to me, the very best part of this very great and incredibly beautiful work are the words (above), that everyone should have on their wall (or heart)…except
maybe that bit about “Don’t mope in your room.”

As my friend Maria pointed out, moping can be good for the process (as can lying around, dreaming, hanging out, being a lazy dog…) And as Kalman points out “Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb after one of his naps.”

Maira Kalman

3 Responses to maira kalman on invention and ingenuity (and napping)

  1. namemaria robledo 08.03.2009 at 7:04pm #

    ahhhhhhhh but mopping is so necessary sometimes.

  2. Sally 08.03.2009 at 7:10pm #

    Yeah, I think you are right. Down time, lying around, ruminating…all essential for figuring anything out. Maira Kalman did a picture of Thomas Edison taking a nap. “After one of his naps, he invented the lightbulb.”

    I think I’m gonna add an addendum to my post, since it’s just gone up a minute ago (How did you catch it so fast?)

  3. Marlene Saunders 08.04.2009 at 12:45am #

    After a much needed nap, I wrote all major car companies about a quick and easy way to re-design/engineer/tech car alarms today! Very much on the same wave length here. Hi Maria Robledo! Long time no see!

Leave A Comment

subscribing = loving

If the Improvised Life is a source of creativity, inspiration, ideas and change in your daily life, please consider becoming a Friend with Benefits. A little bit goes a long way towards helping us publish fresh AD-FREE content each day.